The Star Maze

In northern Netherlands, the historic Groot Vijversburg park is not only expanding physically but also going contemporary with the addition of a new Star Maze, which will be designed by LOLA landscape architects, Deltavormgroep, and Piet Oudolf, plant designer for the High Line Park and last year’s Serpentine Gallery pavilion.

According to Bustler, the idea is to use new works of landscape architecture to transform Groot Vijversburg park, a “romantic public park,” from a historic site into a national destination with a more contemporary feel. Beyond the Star Maze, lots will be added like “two new park chambers, which create a link between the historical park, a post-war recreational area, and a nature reserve.”

The Star Maze is a “remix” of two historic park shapes, “the star shaped forest” and the “labyrinth.” Tall hedges will work like “room dividers for the existing meadow and create several park spaces suitable for various use.” The structure is also designed to connect visitors into other components of the park. 

The design team writes: “Each ending of the Star Maze has a function, such as a landscape balcony with a view over the nature reserve, a pier for canoe travelers in the recreational area, a window with a vista to the main park villa and a shed with rubber boots, to explore the marshland.”

An additional “park chamber,” which can be flooded, will be a bit of The Sound of Music, with hills featuring perennials in a “field of pollard willows.” The hills will be accessible via a series of small dikes.

The landscape architects write that the changes to the way visitors flow through the site represent the shift from “romantic” to contemporary landscape models: “The central space gives an overview in all directions but at the same time doesn’t impose any direction. By doing so, the design goes beyond the ideals of public cultivation and public health on which the nearby romantic park and the Modern recreational landscape are based, and it gives the visitor maximum freedom to use the park however he wishes to.”

Image credits: LOLA

One thought on “The Star Maze

  1. Shammy 02/22/2012 / 2:07 pm

    Nicely written article, about one of my favorite places and landscape types.

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